Breast Cancer Awareness
Orange County CyberKnife and Radiation Oncology Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment for a variety of conditions in Orange County, CA. Our doctors and treatment team will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan using the most advanced non-invasive CyberKnife therapies. We care for our patients with the utmost compassion during your difficult personal battle and try to educate our patients about cancer prevention whenever possible—that’s why we want to offer you some information about breast cancer in honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast Cancer Facts
Taking place annually throughout October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is intended to raise awareness about the disease, gain support, and raise funds for research. Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985, and breast cancer charities bring attention to breast cancer throughout the month of October, working hard to search for a cure year after year. Here are some important facts about breast cancer:
- Breast cancer is one of the most common and well known cancers diagnosed in the United States.
- Breast cancer is more common in women, but occurs in both men and women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women globally (behind skin cancer).
- One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- The majority of breast cancers are among women over age 50, with 10% in women under age 45.
- In 2020, it is estimated that 276,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
It is important to remember that early detection is critical when dealing with breast cancer—it allows for more treatment options, a better survival rate, and improved quality of life. With increased breast cancer awareness and research, there will continue to be advances in breast cancer treatments for years to come.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Most women who develop breast cancer will not be able to pinpoint one specific cause. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, women with certain risk factors, such as family history, are more likely to develop breast cancer. In some cases, an inherited family risk factor can be identified that increases cancer risk, most commonly the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations which greatly increase your risk. If you have a close relative that was diagnosed with breast cancer, such as a mother or sister, this also greatly increases your chance for developing breast cancer. Lifestyle habits can also dramatically increase your odds of getting breast cancer—we recommend the following to reduce your risk of breast cancer:
- Stay physically active
- Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol consumption or avoid altogether
- Do not smoke
Since the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, death rates from breast cancer have been declining over the last few decades, in part due to increased awareness, more screening for early detection, and better treatment options. If you have an immediate relative with cancer, please talk to your doctor about getting screened as early as possible, since survival rates are much higher if detected earlier.
Breast Cancer Warning Signs
Early breast cancer may present no symptoms at all, however, some common symptoms include:
- Lump in the breast or underarm area
- Breast or nipple pain
- Swelling or change in the appearance and/or size of any part of the breast area
- Flattening or dimpling of the breast skin (similar to an orange peel)
- Unusual or bloody discharge from the nipple
- Nipple retraction (indentation or turning inward)
- Skin irritation, redness, scaliness, or crustiness of the breast, nipple, or areola
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Remember to keep up with your annual wellness exams, including a breast exam for women 25-39 years old, and an annual mammogram for women over 40 years old. Screenings with early detection and are a lifesaver!
Support Breast Cancer Awareness
Though early detection and treatment significantly increase the survival rate of breast cancer patients, we encourage you to play a role in helping raise awareness for breast cancer this month (and the whole year). If you would like to get involved, here are some great organizations to consider checking out:
- American Cancer Society
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
- Susan G. Komen
- The Breast Cancer Site Store
You can also get involved in your local breast cancer organizations, and help educate women (and men) in your life about early detection and symptoms. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wear your best pink attire this October and please remind your family and friends to get a mammogram!
Contact Us about Our Radiation Oncology Treatments Today
Orange County CyberKnife and Radiation Oncology Center is here to help you with comprehensive cancer treatment options in Orange County, CA. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, would like to schedule an appointment, or have any questions about what we can do for you, please call us directly at (714) 962-7100. You can also easily submit any questions via our easy online form. We are here to support you every step of the way—contact us today to get started on your journey towards health and healing!